MoneyTalk With Sarah, Entrepreneur, Mum, Fighter!

Sarah Mclellan Arbonne

In this Interview series, we want to feature amazing and inspiring women who are willing to talk about money. Our goal is to break the taboo around money, share experiences and learn from the community. Please see exemples here.

Hello Sarah!

I met Sarah a few months ago in Surrey at Liana’s amazing Inspiration Space. She is an entrepreneur, a mum and a real fighter. She will tell you all about her work and life experiences and how she managed to build up a strong passive income for herself. Go Sarah!

Could you please tell us a little bit about yourself?

I’m 43, a wife to Stuart and mum to Charlie (13) and Maisie (11) and we live in Camberley, Surrey.  

What are you working on today? What did you do before?

I have had an online franchise with Arbonne for 7 years, an established and well respected Health and Wellness company. I help people build an asset part time alongside their full time jobs, to create more time and money in the future.

My organisation is full of professionals from a wide variety of backgrounds and all around the world, I coach them to build their own virtual franchise part time that’s asset-generating and becomes a legacy for future generations as its willable. It’s one of the most relevant income opportunities in the economy today, because its online, green, plant-based, vegan and a highly consumable product.

Before all this I was an Events Manager for a medical charity for 10 years, which I loved, despite the long hours. However 60 hour weeks didn’t work around children!  Freelancing from home was ok, but if I didn’t work I didn’t get paid - I had no time leverage. I was looking for an opportunity where I could work smart and have the ability to generate a substantial income over time. I just didn’t think it would come in the box of social marketing and Arbonne!

The world is changing at a rapid pace. The rise of the Digital Age means that the employment landscape has become almost unrecognisable, creating huge uncertainty, leaving job security at an all-time low. We are taught at school and university to look for jobs not opportunities. I believe that these days everyone needs a side hustle alongside their main job and a portfolio of income streams.

This need for a back up plan was brought home to us in 2015 when I was diagnosed with breast cancer - a total shock. No history of it in our family. However this gave me the biggest light bulb moment, realising the time and money leverage I had built up over the previous 4 years could support me through this.  My business was the best distraction from my illness. It enabled me to be around uplifting, positive people, use safe, non-toxic products and not be consumed by a cancer diagnosis, which is what I witnessed with so many of the incredible women I have met along the way. My business grew substantially during this time and I wasn’t ‘working’ much.  Financial stress is so prevalent when a critical illness diagnosis occurs. To not have to worry about that, to be able to work when I wanted, where I wanted and be an example to my kids that whatever is happening, you navigate the obstacles in the road and you grow from them and are ultimately stronger as a result is key.

What’s your relationship like with money and personal finance?

I have always been interested in investments. My parents owned their own business and were very careful with money. They always had a financial advisor and encouraged us to have stocks/shares and invest in property as soon as we could. Before kids came along, I was on top of all of this but its slipped a bit the last few years and I realised recently, I have had an attitude of ‘spend it, it doesn’t matter, as I don’t know how much time I have left’ which is awful I know, but that’s just the mix of emotions when dealing with cancer. Just acknowledging that to myself was empowering!

What does financial independence mean to you?

Having choices, being able to decide how I spend my time and who with, the ability to design my life and not be beholden to anyone. The ability to give back, in terms of my time, experience and money. Many of my friends in Arbonne earn 6 figures a month and have set up charitable foundations; there is a huge culture of giving back. That’s my goal too. I no longer feel embarrassed about having huge wealth goals, because when you do good with money, so many people can benefit.

What’s the one thing you indulge in? 

Travel - that’s something that my business has paid for over the last 7 years both with work and family trips. I still have a very long list of places to go to. Since my cancer diagnosis, life is too short - you need to get on and do everything that makes you happy!

What is the best financial decision you have ever made? And what is the greatest long term investment?

Starting my business definitely, especially as it’s willable, but also buying our first house in Twickenham in 1997 and selling it 10 yrs later to move out to Surrey. Our next plans are to use the income from Arbonne in the future to build up a portfolio of properties and investments. In terms of investments, we set up child trust funds for each of the kids when they were born and they have built up really well - we haven’t let them know what they are worth!

Have you ever experienced a financial epiphany? A sort of wake-up call, where you suddenly think - “I must start doing things differently”? 

Yes, 7 years ago my brother said to me ‘where will you be in 5 years, especially financially, if you carry on doing the same thing’ and ‘How long could you last on your savings if Stuart lost his job?’ Our answers to those two questions scared us. We had no back up plan for curve balls that life throws at you - our savings, ISA’s etc had just been cashed in to renovate our house and two growing kids. I went from worrying about what people would think of me starting my own business to ‘what have we got to lose’ with a no risk, potential high reward business opportunity. It was the best financial decision we’ve made, 7 years later I’ve just found out I’m a finalist for Mumpreneur of the Year at the UK DSA Awards next week!

What is Vestpod for you?

I met you at a key time. I’m a big believer in the law of attraction and people come into your life for a reason. I went along to your workshop because I needed to get a handle on our finances, make more plans for the future and get informed. I found a wonderful resource and community in Vestpod, for someone like me, cutting through the jargon etc, so thank you! I have recommended Vestpod to so many people!

Own up. Have you made any major financial faux-pas?

Not that I can recall, other than buying a car on a dodgy finance plan 15 years ago and getting ripped off… we learned from that!!

What do you wish you have done earlier in terms of financial planning?

I wish I had started learning about money earlier. We don’t discuss it openly enough in the UK, I wish I had read the books below in my twenties rather than my thirties/early forties!

What would you recommend to younger women?

Start investing even a small amount early on. It’s sensible and empowering to build up multiple streams of income, to be independently wealthy. You never know what life has in store for you - changes in relationships, job insecurity or health scares - make sure you prepare for impact! Set time aside each month to have a financial check in with yourself, to keep on top of everything.

Take risks. There’s no such thing as failure - we learn from everything we do!

Favourite book & podcast?

I have a few - I can’t decide between them! My favourite books are:

Mel Robbins ‘The 5 Second Rule’ (she has a podcast too)

Robert Kiyosaki ‘Rich Dad, Poor Dad’

T Harv Eker ‘The Millionaire Mindset’

I’m currently reading Barbara Stanney’s ‘Secrets of Six Figure Women’

Where can we find you?

On the side of a netball/rugby/cricket (delete as applicable) pitch watching my kids!


Insta: @sar.mclellan

Thanks a lot!

-- Emilie

Collage by Malik + Mack and Vestpod.